CLAYTON — Two Clayton men who met at a CrossFit gym are selling a health bar they created to fuel their workout routine.
Four to five times a week, Adam Read and Philip Tabor can be found at the CrossFit “box” on Main Street, the name of their strength-building group’s workout room.
CrossFit training mixes Olympic-style weightlifting and cardio exercises in a high-intensity setting. Read and Tabor say the group dynamic and team environment make it a unique fitness regimen.
“CrossFit is like marathon training plus body building; we lift a lot of weights for a long time,” Tabor said.
Clayton has two CrossFit centers, one on N.C. 21 and another on Main Street. In all, Johnston County has eight.
Many CrossFitters adopt a Paleo diet when they fully embrace the CrossFit lifestyle. That’s a diet hunter-gatherers would have eaten during the Paleolithic period – high in protein and low in carbs. It cuts out dairy, processed foods, grains and refined sugar, among other things.
Working with Jared Butler, another man they met at the gym, Read and Tabor have created a fitness bar, the Rad Bar, that they are selling at local CrossFit centers. They hope to start selling it soon at other gyms.
The nondairy, gluten-free bar differs from bars sold on the shelf at GNC or Walmart because it has no preservatives or processed sugar, ingredients that would conflict with the Paleo diet.
They say it’s also a healthy choice for non-CrossFitters who want to make smart food decisions.
A new lifestyle
Tabor, 33, said a healthy lifestyle had not alway been a priority. It’s been a six-year process to get to where he is now – exercising regularly and sticking to a healthy diet.
He says his wife, a CrossFit trainer, convinced him to try CrossFit a year and a half ago by buying him a fitness package for his birthday.
“I used to think I could just sit on the couch and watch TV and be OK and didn’t need exercise,” Tabor said.
He said he played sports in high school but had been active as an adult.
Tabor said it’s not always easy to fit CrossFit, an hour workout, into his routine. He is both a pastor and a pharmaceutical company employee.
Often, Tabor said, he is traveling for work, so when he’s out of town, he seeks out CrossFit gyms in other cities. Sometimes he uses the equipment at a hotel to somewhat match the regimen he’d be doing back at home.
Read, 32, got started doing CrossFit at the same time as Tabor but for different reasons. A former military instructor, he was looking for a fitness group that was challenging but also had a competitive element.
Now, Read, a father of three, juggles CrossFit, working two jobs as a salesman and co-owning the Rad Bar company, but he says it’s worth it.
The third business partner, Butler, 25, is the “athlete and the geek” in the trio, Tabor said.
Butler is a three-time qualifier for the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals. He is a coach at CrossFit Clayton and works fulltime for Novartis, a pharmaceutical company.
“He helped us put the recipe together,” Tabor said.
The trio started selling the Rad Bar on May 1. In their first month, they hoped to sell 25 boxes of the bar, each with 12 bars. Instead, they were surprised and excited to sell 100 boxes. The company is now growing faster than they ever expected.
A company in California is producing the bar from the recipe the partners created.
The ingredients include dates, bananas and pineapple. Some have chocolate or cranberries, and all are held together by almond butter. Each bar has between 11 and 14 grams of protein and around 280 calories.
They sell for $3.50 but don’t expect them to show up on the store shelves. Since they have no preservatives, the bars have a shelf life of about four months. They are available at the CrossFit gyms in Clayton, and the partners hope to sell them at other gyms in the area, like Gold’s gym.
“This workout is all about people encouraging people to be better people,” Tabor said.